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  • Field Tested Long-term review | Yeti Tundra 45

Field Tested Long-term review | Yeti Tundra 45

Last year, we presented you with The Big Chill, an exhaustive review of some of the best rotomolded coolers on the market. Over the course of 10 days, we analyzed construction and design, drain systems, ergonomics, capacity, and structural integrity. We then filled them with ice, set them on a deck under the midsummer sun (90°F ambient temperature), and measured melt rates, interior temperatures, and evaluated insulation properties with a FLIR thermal imaging camera. When the dust settled, it was the Yeti Tundra 45 that provided the final cerveza fria.

I put the Tundra to use during the past year and am reassured we made the right decision in giving it the Editor’s Choice Award. Its rotomolded frame has proved tough as nails, ice retention has been better than any cooler I’ve previously used, and the dual-handle system makes for an easy carry. Although an interior basket is available, I found a plastic food-storage container that fits inside perfectly and keeps contents dry.

My only gripe has been the larger drain and dribbly plug; I would prefer a smaller, generic type to reduce drip. It should also be mentioned that capacity is 35 liters rather than 45, as the name might indicate. I’ve not had any grizzly bears rummage through my camp, but this IGBC-rated unit has certainly fended off a few coyotes. $350

www.yeticoolers.com, 512-394-9384


Chris spent his formative years riding dirt bikes with his dad in the deserts of Southern California and Baja, Mexico, which led to a lifelong quest for adventure. He is handy behind a viewfinder and at the keyboard, and brings four decades of international travel experience to Overland Journal as Editor-in-Chief. His career, which includes work for National Geographic Adventure, Four Wheeler, Hot Rod, and Autoweek, has taken him through 50-plus countries and to every continent. He has also served as correspondent to magazines in a dozen countries and in as many languages. In 2013 he was part of the Expeditions7 team that crossed Antarctica and he has recently been inducted into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame as a pioneering journalist. When not behind the camera Chris can be found on The Office (his sailboat), or undertaking meticulous “research” for upcoming articles in locales such as Tequila, Mexico.